An elderly clergyman tells Pat and Phillis of the strange happenings in the middle of the night in the old rectory. “I was at my wit’s end,” he told them. “I wasn’t sure if I was having a nervous breakdown or becoming senile. Then, the noises. I can still hear those dreadful noises in the dead of night.” Intrigued, they rush off to Philadelphia. They’re too late. Murder gets there before them.
“When you and I talked this afternoon, Father,” Pat began after their waiter placed drinks in front of them, “you were… well, it’s no exaggeration to say, frantic. You told me about some very strange things taking place at Saint Alban’s.”
They were seated at a table in Oscar’s Restaurant. Pat Montgomary was in his mid-thirties, deeply tanned from the past two weeks at the seashore, and visibly concerned as he stared at the priest across the table from him. Phillis Toner, Pat’s half sister, was her radiant self this evening with her equally deep tan. She was ten years younger than her brother. She too was studying the third member of their party. This latter was easily in his sixties (she guessed), his face pale and drawn. He was dressed in black with a Roman collar.
“I guess you’ll think I am foolish,” the priest began hesitantly. “You might think I’m not responsible for my actions when I tell you why I asked to meet you. And, the more I think about it, the more I begin to believe that perhaps… perhaps it was wrong of me to impose upon you. It really is nothing. If I could beg your forgiveness and let it go at that….”
“Father, something is bothering you,” Pat continued, a sternness creeping into his voice. “If ever I saw someone with a problem, it’s you. I hope you’ll pardon me for being so blunt, but frankly, Father, you look to me as though you need professional help. You look as though you have not been sleeping well. Your hands are shaking. Are you an alcoholic or been drinking heavily lately?”
Maris Cove, a delightful haven of beach and ocean. A group of (sometimes) friendly neighbors. The ideal place for you to buy a home or spend your next vacation. If, that is, you don’t mind a threat of murder.
Pat and Phillis solved a murder in THE BODIES OUT BACK. This time, they race to prevent a murder.
“That damned sound again,” Phillis said to herself as she got to her feet and brushed off the beach sand. Aloud, she shouted, “O.K., whoever you are, get out here. Let me see you.” She waited. No movement, no sound from the dunes. Then…something seemed to be taking shape in the fog,. “Who? Oh, it’s you,” she said and heaved a sigh of relief. “You frightened me for a moment. Thought it was someone who shouldn’t have been there. Heading back to the Cove?”
Next time you head for the beach to do a bit of sunning, you better not take this book with you. It might change your whole idea about such a beautiful place.
Once again, Joe Wright has written a top-notch mystery novel. He is a terrifically talented writer who can write a multi-character mystery novel and juggle them all like a master. He expertly creates full-bodied, extremely interesting characters and then weaves them in and out of the storyline like a master chess player.
Mr. Wright also has a knack for writing humorous dialogue. Just when the tension gets to be too much, Mr. Wright has one of the characters utter a line or a word that makes the reader laugh and breaks the tension…but only for a moment. The story is so good that no reader will want to put it down for very long.
– Annie Rivers Writers Unlimited Reviewer
Don’t mistake WRECKTORY for a religious book! It is the story of Father Frank Beckett and his forty-three years at the inner-city church of Saint Timothy. Frank has a president of his parish council who is determined to oust him; a housekeeper who does not know how to clean or cook, but is great at solving real-life murders; and a female parishioner for whom Frank has special affection. He has a mother who tries to use her influence to get him made bishop; a half-sister who is on trial for killing her lover; two gay parishioners who want him to officiate at their wedding; and a Juliet in a high school Shakespearean production he is directing who is sure she’s dying. As he nears the end of his career, Frank finds he is about to pass the clerical baton to a young priest who wears a ponytail, drives a motorcycle, and doesn’t have time to bother with church red tape and traditions…
Tales from the Wrecktory is a wonderful book to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon with. The characters are convincing and well developed and Father Frank Beckett is the compassionate pastor we are all looking for. In this collection of heart felt stories the priest follows that small voice within which doesn’t always please his congregation or Church hierarchy and often leads to complications. But the reader knows no matter what happens Father Frank will do the right thing.
– Amazon.com customer review
A posh home in Philadelphia’s Society Hill. A sunny day. An inviting balcony for sunbathing. What’s wrong with this picture? Don’t look over the railing toward the patio below. Your neighbor is looking up at you, only she doesn’t see you. She’s dead. A bullet from the house in back found its target.
The next few days you’ll have to cope with a voyeur in that house in back, a jealous boyfriend, another neighbor who’s an expert marksman, one who listens over garden walls, and just when you think it’s safe to sit on your patio again, another body is found. If the cozy whodunit, with a touch of romance, family intrigue, a snooping and unethical blackmailer, are your cup of tea, then join Pat Montgomary and Phillis Toner as they solve the mystery of The Bodies Out Back.
…Filled with fast-paced action, seemingly non-stop secrets, layered plots and a completely unexpected ending, Bodies Out Back will be one of those books you recommend to everyone you meet. This first in a trilogy starring Phil and Pat is a very welcome addition to the cozy world. – Kathy Thomason, Murder and Mayhem Book Club
…Mr. Wright’s greatest strength is his ability to write refreshing dialogue. The banter between Phillis and Pat is crisp and amusing and will have you chuckling – when you aren’t biting your nails from apprehension.
This is a first-rate book for anyone who enjoys a satisfying murder mystery. I highly recommend The Bodies Out Back. – Annie Rivers, Writers Unlimited